NANAIMO — Step one is complete for the Senior B Timbermen lacrosse team - win the WCSLA regular season title.
With a 15-3 record the Tmen were the class of the league as they gear up to host the Presidents Cup Senior B championship in late August.
They wrapped up the season with a 7-5 home floor win over Coquitlam on Sunday to earn a first round playoff bye.
Step two is to win the WCSLA playoffs.
They have to win two best of five series to do that but Nanaimo will be favoured in any matchup, and of course have home floor advantage.
This past weekend saw the home debut of their most highly anticipated addition in Jeff Shattler.
The NLL pro and former WLA standout didn't disappoint with a goal and two assists.
In all Shatter played three games in the regular season and put up six goals and five assists.
Shatter is excited to be joining the Timbermen for the Presidents Cup run, hoping to add to a career that has included Mann Cup and Champions Cup wins already.
Team captain and leading scorer Jon Diplock is looking forward to a long playoff run, wanting to make sure the team brings a BC title with them to the Presidents Cup.
He's been through the experience of playing in the tournament before and knows very well the challenge that lies ahead.
In the middle of the season the Tmen went through a lull and lost three games in a row.
Team president Shawn Swanson says the club is better for having gone through that.
"You don't want to lose your first couple of games in playoffs or Presidents Cup so we kind of have that adversity now and we've learned how to deal with it. We've had seven wins since then," said Swanson.
Nanaimo will now wait for the WCSLA quarter final series to play out before they host game one of the semi finals.
The Timbermen will host the lowest remaining seed, which means they could play Victoria, Langley, or Royal City.
Some video highlights: (courtesy Frank Dubenski Sr. B Timbermen)
The Presidents Cup will run August 26 through September 2 at Frank Crane Arena.
Preparations are ongoing with more volunteers still needed.
Shawn Swanson encourages anyone who wants to lend a hand to contact the team at [email protected] or go to the team website at www.nanaimotimbermen.com.
Last week the Timbermen announced a commitment to support the Moose Hide Campaign.
It's a grassroots movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and boys who are standing up against violence towards women and children.
Frank Dubenski from the Presidents Cup committee says they wanted to affiliate with a charity and also honour the first nations heritage of the game.
"This is a game that originates with our Indigenous people of Canada," Dubenski said. "We had to consider the cultural and spiritual significance of the game which is a medicine game. It is traditionally recognized as being given people by the creator."
The Timbermen looked at ways to make a financial contribution to the local community and have pledged ten per cent of the 50/50 profits and $500 from the first 500 tournament passes sold to the fundraising campaign to expand Nanaimo's Samaritan House women's shelter.
On the floor the Tmen will look to win Nanaimo's first Senior B national title since the 1969 Nanaimo Luckies, and the broader goal is to make the Presidents Cup a legacy event that will leave a lasting impression on the community.
On twitter: @danmarshall77
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